If you have recently decided to take up golf, invested in clubs, taken some lessons, and are ready to hit the golf course, you’re probably feeling fairly pleased with yourself. However, it’s important firstly to understand the etiquette of playing golf. Golf is an exceedingly polite game there are no scrums, tackles or aggressive tactics involved, but there is a rule book that extends to 182 pages! So in this guide, we’ll be outlining the basic etiquette of golf, so that once you’re on the golf course you’ll not only impress with your skills, but with your understanding of how to behave.
Playing golf must be done in an orderly fashion, so you must take turns. It’s usual for the person who won the last hole to tee off first.
Never Move your Ball
Picking up your ball and moving it is a big no-no, unless you’re on the putting green. You must also play it from where it lies, unless there is an obstruction that shouldn’t be there. If you’re unclear of what exactly an obstruction might be, always ask a professional.
When you move on a ball on a putting green, you must always mark it with either a coin, or a marker pen. So make sure you have either of these in your pocket.
Know Where you Stand
Golfers are very strict about standing well back from a player. This is not only to help the player concentrate, but to avoid getting hit. Never ever walk in front of someone’s line of play on the putting green, and avoid talking or making distracting practice swings, from the moment someone lines up to a shot, until the ball has left the club. You mustn’t even cast a shadow in front of a player, so watch out!
Keep your Temper
Golf can be frustrating, but maintaining your temper is important. Don’t swear, or throw your clubs about. Neither should you be a bad loser. Claiming that a player only won a game only because they were using a Titleist 913 D3 Driver for example, is very unsporting.
Keeping up a steady pace of play is important. Lagging behind, holding everyone up, or rushing ahead is not the done thing. You shouldn’t really take any more than 2 minutes to take a shot. A good way to assess your pace, is to remain half a hole behind the group in front of you.
Use a Caddie
Puffing and panting around a 10 mile course with 14 golf clubs will hold everyone up, so you should really use a caddie. Remember though, to only leave it standing on paths.
Losing a Ball
Not every shot will be perfect, and when you’re starting out they can go more or less anywhere! So if you lose a ball, you should take only five minutes searching for it. It’s usual to mark balls with your initials to identify them, because you should never a pick up a ball that may belong to someone else.